tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC August 27, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
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announcer: you could buy 300 bottles of water. or just one brita filter. ( drop plinks ) brita-- better for the environment and your wallet. honoring the live eon, the motorcade carrying the body of senator ted kennedy headed to boston. >> kennedy's life and children, cousins, nephews, nieces all paying respects today to the family patriarch. people in boston and across the nation remember a legendary lawmaker who had triumph and tragedy. good afternoon, everybody.
good afternoon. i'm david shuster live in washington. >> good afternoon, everyone. cameron hall live in new york. thousands of people are lining up outside the john f. kennedy presidential library in boston. >> that's where senator edward m. kennedy's body will lie in repose for the next couple of days. kennedy's family held a private mass at the senator's home a few hours ago, and now the family motorcade is traveling the 70-mile route to boston. you're looking at pictures from the motorcade route a short time ago. right now they're on interstate 93 going towards boston. thousands of people were standing on the side of the roads and highways to get a peek at the motorcades. the crowds clapped and cheered as the cars drove by. before the motorcade gets to the library, it will pass by several sights important to the senator and important to the family. first stop is st. steven's church where kennedy's mother
rose was baptized and her funeral mass was celebrated. from there it will cross over the rose filgts jerrold kennedy greenway, a park ted kennedy created with community leaders to give mothers and children a green space in the middle of the city. it's on the same land that kennedy's mother enjoyed as a child. it will pass samuel hall where the mayor of boston will ring the bell 47 times. it has a huge place in history. it's where they protested the shaug ar act and sam adams rallied citizens to independence there and george washington toasted the narc on the first birthday. it will pass where he was in the first office as an assistant district attorney and where john f. kennedy lived while running for congress in 1946.
we're looking at pegts of the casket leaving from hyannis port. other stops are the jfk federal building and the site of his boston office. it will travel into south boston to the jfk presidential library. again, right now you're going to look at live pictures of the library. we don't have them right now, but take our word for it, thousands of mourners are already waiting at the jfk library to pay the final respects. the museum is just a fascinating place in and of itself. there's a helicopter picture of the motorcade moving along interstate 93 north towards boston, where it should be arriving in the next 15 or 20 men ni minute. anne thompson is live at the jfk presidential library. >> they're there making preparations -- >> just go ahead and set the scene for us, ann. >> david, they're making preparations for the arrival of the body of senator edward
kennedy and his family. you can see behind me there are people who are waiting here. we believe the hearse will pull up and make a circle in front of the library, and then will be brought in. it will lie in repose in the smiths room, which is a wood-panelled room here in the jfk library. teddy kennedy was instrumental in raising funds for the jfk library and spoke here at the dedication of this library some 30 years ago. when he spoke, he talked about his relationship with his brother, jack, who was 14 years his senior. he talked about how jack wanted to be his godfather, how jack taught him how to throw a forward pass in football, taught him how to sail against the wind and how he was the best man at his wedding. so they were 14 years apart, the two brothers were extraordinarily close and senator kennedy idolized his brother, jack.
now senator kennedy will come here to lie in repose, and the members of the kennedy family will greet the people who come here both tonight and tomorrow to pay their respects. it is expected -- we are expecting lots of people. no official estimate from the police or from the people here at the museum, but we have seen the velvet ropes are being put up as they anticipate people will come here and want to pay their respects to a man who has been part of their political life for some 47 years. david. >> nbc's anne thompson at the john f. kennedy museum and library. thanks for the update. >> he's traveling to the liar braer in south boston. he will lie in repose there. at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow there will be a private memorial service at the library. senator john mccain is one of several speakers and his funeral will be held saturday morning at
10:30 eastern at our lady of perpetual basilica. president obama will deliver the eulogy and there are reports that former president george h.w. bush and george w. bush will be there as well. he'll be buried at arlington national cemetery in virginia. he's eligible because his service in congress and his two years in the united states army. he'll be laid to rest near his slain brothers john and robert at the famous hillside that includes jacqueline kennedy onassis. joining me now is neil. he's a staffer wrilgt for the boston globe magazine and an nbc news contributor. we appreciate you joining us. we have michael standing by as well. we want to get your thoughts of what we've seen, that casket coming out of the home draped in the flag and that amazing picture of the kennedy family.
all of those generations watching this moment. >> it's an incredibly poignant moment, and i think it's part of the connection that ted kennedy has to this family. in addition to being patriarch he was the chief you'll gist. he was the one that guided the family and nation, and now it's his death and they're no clear sense of who will guide the family and nation through this death. >> neil, we went through the map of the places that the body will be taken past. this journey back home to be laid to rest with his brothers. talk about the significance of 122 bodien and just the park dedicated to rose kennedy as well. >> it's interesting that two of the stops on this tour have to do with his mother, rose kennedy, a beloved figure but also a feared figure within her own family because of her insistence on excellence. there was a special bond between
ted and rose. she was 41 when she had him. he was her ninth child, and she said at that time people were feeling pity for her. this woman had nine children. she had i made the decision then i'm not going to be pitied and i'm going to be happy. that's why teddy was such a source of happiness in this family. >> i've read so many quotes from the family, but i read about him being the ninth child and rose kennedy said he was the talented ninth child and he had the talent to juggle being diplomatic in the home and also be tossed because you're the younger and you could be picked on in that family. >> he was picked on. he was picked on by his sick lings and in his parents. he's called a fatty about his parents. he was a chubby boy. there was real love there. everybody loved to have teddy around. he brought life. he was the jester, the family crown in some ways. to see him mature into this statesman is an incredible journey in and of itself.
>> we have michael, presidential history yal historian for nbc news. he's standing by. what are your thoughts on what we're seeing right now as this family says good-bye to a wonderful american. >> it sure is. we're really going through a passage, because from 1960 when john kennedy was elected to the presidency until now this is an era when the kennedys have been at the center of our political life. it's going to be a big change for all of us. >> i wonder if you could tell us about the library museum behind you and tell us -- i mean, as a historian how valuable it's been and perhaps maybe the symbolism of ted kennedy lying in repose there for two days. >> well, this is a library he felt very close to and had a lot to do with building. i think you can see over my shoulder -- i don't know if our photographer can get it. to the left of the library right
over here it looks as if the library is chopped off in the middle. it was rumored at the time that the library was built in 1979 that the reason for that was that the people that built it thought there was a good chance ted kennedy would become president, and if he did that would be the ted kennedy wing holding his papers. the day the library was opened was a day of huge drama. i was there in october of 1979. ted kennedy was there and jimmy carter was there. everyone knew ted kennedy was about to announce his canadidac to run against carter. carter dominated the occasion quoting john kennedy who was asked in 1962 would you recommend the presidency to others and jfk said no, at least for a while. carter said, i'd give the same advice to anyone, and of course what kennedy was saying carter said was, wait your turn. kennedy got the message, but, of
course, ran for president anyway. >> michael, we see on the left part the screen a helicopter shot of the motorcade as it continues along interstate 93. we see the pictures of all the cars pulled off to the side and people paying their respects. what's the mood been like in boston today? >> well, i think people are just absorbing this news, because ted kennedy has been as much a part of boston and massachusetts as faneuil hall and the statehouse. very few were alive before john kennedy came to congress in 1946. so it's not just political. this is really a huge change of scene here. >> michael and neil, we're going to ask you both to stand by and thank you, of course, for contributing to our coverage. what do you make of this as we
see this slow motorcade along 93? >> is that shot we saw earlier today of the kennedy family standing there and each had a chance to kind of touch the hearse as it was preparing to drive away. you see those generations, and we know that this is the kennedy family. when you look at a group photo of people who are going to miss someone terribly, it is only natural to think about your own family. that can be any family in this country, different age groups all standing there to say good-bye to someone they loved no matter his stature in american history. that is a family who will miss their patriarch dearly. >> absolutely. all of us that have gone through something similar, tam ran if there's a bit of a silver lining so many learn today is that is the last several months of ted kennedy's life were filled with a lot of joy and love of family members and incredible reporting about the last couple of weeks examine what they were like. we'll get into that ahead with
mark who wrote an incredible piece in today's "new york times." we'll get into that ahead. >> that is an awesome article. you brought it to our attention this morning, and the details down to senator kennedy eating his favorite ice cream in the days before. those are the comforting moments we will share shortly. >> among the many tributes to senator kennedy, the boston red sox honoring their hometown senator and lifelong fan in a game last night at fenway park. both teams and thousands of fans bowed their heads for a moment of silence before the game. on opening day this year kennedy himself threw out the first pitch, despite being very frail. his grandfather, boston mayor fitzgerald, christened fenway park in 1912. there was jim wright catching kennedy's throw there earlier this spring.
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welcome back to msnbc. it was 15 months ago -- these are live pictures as we follow the motorcade carrying the body of senator edward kennedy. it was 10 months ago he was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer, and he was determined to make what he called a, quote, good ending for himself. >> as we continue to watch the
live pictures of the senator's motorcade traveling towards boston before it arriving at the john f. kennedy presidential library where ted kennedy will lie in repose, at the end of his life he may have been wheelchair bound and struggled to speak, but he managed to have many happy moments up until a few days before his death. they said he would dig into bowls of his favorite ice cream and watched every james bond movie with his wife. over a week ago he took part in his beloved past time and went for a final sail with his family off of hyannis port. mark, some terrific, terrific reporting into this piece today. i want to ask you that apparently you say in the piece that he would get up every day. he got up every day except for tuesday, the day he died. he got out of bed. >> every single day. tuesday was the first day ever, and he obviously had some very bad days and was pretty
compromised at the end in the last few weeks. he's had a hard time talking and been in a wheelchair and had a hard time moving around. it hasn't been easy for him and for those around him. he made a point of getting out of bed every single day. i was talking to a doctor who was an oncologist who said in this late stage of a disease that is extremely rare, let alone for someone of his age. so, yeah, it was pretty impressive to the doctors and obviously of how he lived his life at the end. >> your reporting was so moving in so many ways. you report he repeatedly told friends i've had a wonderful life, and recently he told friends he was looking forward to a reunion with his seven departed siblings, particularly his brothers whose lives were cut short. >> what was striking to me was he walked into mass general hospital 15 months ago, and his
staff had assembled a huge team of world renowned doctors who had traveled to boston to assess his case. essentially what they said was very, very dire. it was -- most of them didn't recommend surgery at all. it just -- they gave him the worst possible prognosis he could possibly hear. yet, his first -- the first thing out of his mouth then was, well, i've had a wonderful life. he got to work about the business about what treatment to seek and how he wanted to spend his last year. so, yeah, that was something that occurred and became a mantra to him. he would call people out of the blue, and that's usually how he signed off a lot of conversations. >> as we continue to watch this live picture of the motorcade, you talk about how realistic the senator was, optimistic and realistic about the direction this was going. how much of an imprint do we see of senator kennedy in the plans from the motorcade and the stops
to the eulogy given by president obama? how much of the planning was he involved in in that difficult time? >> well, that's -- you mean senator kennedy's role. >> his role, of course. >> i know he talked a lot and had time to talk a lot about what his wishes were for burial for the cemetery, for the funeral, who he wanted to speak and so forth. i know before he went into his surgery he took a lot of time to obviously get his affairs in order as anyone in that situation would do. i was struck by on the way to the hospital -- on the way to the airport in cape cod before flying down to north carolina having the surngery he made a fw calls to barbara and chris dodd and wanted to make sure his legislative affairs were in order, too. barbara, do this higher
education bill, and dodd do this mental health parity bill we've been working on. in addition to making sure his personal affairs in order, wanted to make sure his substantive legislative affairs were in order. he planned for what he could plan for. as chris dodd said, he got to live every irishman's dream, which is to live to see your own eulogy. for the last 15 months or so, there's been a procession of tributes and memorials. the one honor he enjoyed and thought was cooler than any other was throwing out the first pitch at fenway park on opening day. >> mark leibovitz, some terrific reports. we'll ask you to stick around and get into more of what you reported this morning, include youing incredible moments over the last couple of moments. we love the part with all the reports that ted kennedy was
just about to die over the last couple of months, that he would call his friends or call people he hadn't talked to and say, i'm still here. >> i love when they talk about the sing-a-longs the family would have. vicky would plan dinner parties and people would come over and sing songs together. of course, we were not there, but it's something if you close your eyes, you can visualize what might have happened on those nice nights in that beautiful home with these amazing people. >> more coverage of this historic day from boston, for the country, the kennedy motorcade, of course, on its way to the jfk presidential library. >> still ahead, a special look at the final resting place at arlington national cemetery, the final resting place for so many that gave their lives for this great country. he'll be buried near his two brothers. david gregory will moderate a special edeition of "meet the
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for $199.99 after mail-in rebate. with built-in access to the nation's fastest 3g network. only from at&t. still ahead much more of a special coverage of the death of senator ted kennedy. the motorcade is on its way to the jfk presidential library, where members of the public will be able to pay their final respects. in fact, you can already see the crowds gathering there. this evening you can watch a special presentation of "the kennedy brothers: a hardball documentary." it was put together by chris matthews. it airs tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. ( whooshing )
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welcome back. i'm david shuster live in washington. >> i'm tam ran hall live in new york. we're looking at live pictures of the motorcade carrying the body of senator edward kennedy. we've been watching an incredible morning and an incredible moment in hiflt for this country as they travel routh 3 to route 93 to boston. we expect the motorcade to pass or cross over the rose fitzgerald kennedy greenway. that's a park senator kennedy joined with community leaders in creating that giving mothers and children green space in the heart of the city. let's bring in anne thompson live at the john f. kennedy presidential library in boston where senator kennedy will soon lie in repose. give us an idea what people are saying, the feeling of the moment there as we watch this motorcade continue to that point. >> reporter: tamaran, every year about 200,000 visitors come here
for the john f. kennedy presidential library to visit it. it's one of the most popular tourists attractions in the city of boston. it has exhibits about the life and times of john and jacqueline kennedy. there's an xibexhibit to bobby kennedy, and there's really nothing to edward kennedy the youngest child of joe and rose kennedy. but today and tomorrow will be two days dedicated to remembering that life, remembering his service to the state of massachusetts in 47 years as senator. at this hour people are starting to line up to pay their respects and they're lining up in the parking lot. we cannot see the end of the line. people are i would say five and six across in this line. they are standing in what i can only tell you is a blazingly hot sun, and they are waiting. we understand that the motorcade
is running about an hour behind at this time, and instead of arriving at 4:00 we have just been told it's going to be closer to 5:00. as you mentioned before, they come here they're going to take a sentimental journey if you will through the city of boston to see moments, places that were important in ted kennedy's life and quite frankly important in the history of the city of boston. places like st. steven's church where his mother was baptized and her funeral mass was celebrated. 122 boden street where jfk lived and where ted kennedy had an office an assistant district attorney as he waited to grow old enough to replace his brother in the senate. and so it will be an important journey for the kennedy family, an important lesson about his life and his times to people who may only know ted kennedy in his
later years. then he will come here and for two days he will lie in repose. there will be a public viewing from 6:00 to 11:00 tonight examine and then tomorrow from 8:00 to 3:00. i can tell just by judging what we're seeing here, it looks like there will literally going to be thousands of people who come and pay their respects to this man. >> an incredible line, and the numbers i'm sure are not surprising knowing the impact senator keddy has had. thank you again. >> joining us again is mark leibovitz from "the new york times." she pointed out in the last segment that ted kennedy, that vicky had aarranged the sing-a-longs in july where the families would sing and read poetry and play piano. can you describe if that was a sense that vicky and even perhaps senator kennedy at that point knew that the end was near. >> i'm sure they knew the end
was near. his condition had worsened certainly through the late spring and early summer. but it was striking to me, because it started kind of on a whim. the family -- the immediate family had been around pretty much all summer. teddy jr. has a house down the street. patrick, you know, spent a lot of time there and kara was nearby. vicky has two kid that is live in boston, so they were there and four grandchildren were running around and jean kennedy smith rented a house in the neighborhood for the summer just to be close to ted and also to euni eunice, who lived up the street before she died a few weeks ago. they ooused to get together for dinner. one night late last month vicky decided to issue what she called the noble call, which would mean it's now time for whoever she called upon to sing. they would go around the table, and it started sheepishly. i think patrick got the first
song. i think he sang some irish song. i don't remember what it was, but it became a nightly tradition if they felt up to it or if the senator felt up to it to go around the table and sing songs. this is after dinner and right before the dessert was served. they used to bring in special ice cream that senator kennedy loved, mocha chip and butter pecan blended together from a joint called the four cs ice cream place near by. it's a legendary ice cream place on the cape. the kennedys went there for kids. he would eat that. before that the singing would commence, and senator kennedy himself would partake if he was feeling up to and his body was cooperating. he sang a duet with patrick of "you are my sunshine." he sang -- there's another song with vicky that i remember hearing about that was really moving. and then, you know, when things petered out and the senator got
tired, he would go off to bed or to watch a dvd of james bond or 24 or something. but really it became a pretty nightly tradition, you know, in the last few weeks, which i was pretty struck by and i think it speaks to the level of energy but also the level of joy that also was a big part of his last weeks. >> and also i would say his priorities. i mean, your piece makes it so clear he wanted to spend the last several months surrounded not by celebrities or other famous politicians. he wanted to be with his immediate family. >> he did. believe me, there were hundreds if not thousands of people, very prominent people throughout the world who wanted a piece of him. not in any kind of, you know, insidious way at all, but just to say hello or say good-bye as it it were. you know, they had to do a pretty strenuous triage to actually keep the people around that the senator wanted around, which is immediate family, which
is understandable given how little time he had left. chris dodd, who was one of his best friends in the senate and john kerry came through regularly in the last few months. john thome a former senator from california who was kennedy's law school roommate came through quite a bit. and then there were other, you know, former staff people and some smaller circle folks within the kennedy orb. it sounted pretty intimate and pretty special, especially for his family that was accustomed for so many years and decades to sharing senator kennedy with the world. >> mark, it was some terrific, terrific reporting. a great piece today so insightful and into the life that ted kennedy led especially at the end and what he stood for and how much he meant to his family. we appreciate you joining us today. as you hear mark describing the
character of ted kennedy and his priorities at the end again with those pictures of the motorcade moving through boston, you get a better sense as to why he was so beloved not just by family and friends but people that heard these stories about him. >> you're right, david. >> coming up, the kennedys and arlington national cemetery. john, bobby, jackie all buried there, and soon teddy will be buried there as well. what this national place of mourning means for what some of are calling america's first family. first, here's republican senator john mccain this morning on "today" remembering his departed friend and colleague. >> i think the aspect of ted kennedy was that there was never an evidence of any personal grudge or anger or lingering anger or dissatisfaction, and it was always on to fight the next battle, man up and ride to the sound of the guns. carol, when you replaced casual friday with nordic tuesday,
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welcome back. we continue to look at the lines of people waiting fwht hot sun to get a glimpse of the motorcade carrying the body of senator edward kennedy. they're standing on the overpast. there's an open guest book for visitors to stein in memory of nor kennedy. the book has been placed on a table in the first floor lobby of the museum in little rock, arkansas. a photo of former president bill clinton and kennedy along with a framed printout on clinton's statement on the senator's passing is also on display there. today's procession from hyannis port to boston will remind many americans of the aftermath of robert kennedy's assassination in 1968. >> rf k's body was toin by
train. along the route from the file film, thousands of people showed up spontaneously along the tracks in town after town to pay their respects with a simple salute or a wave of the flag. the train trip for rfk took so long to complete that his funeral became the only one ever held at night at arlington. his grave site is not far from president john f. kennedy's whose wife jackie requested an eternal flame be set up and the flame burns to this day. neil is an nbc news contributor who isco author of last lion, the fall and rise of ted kennedy and a staff writing for the globe magazine. when we make the comparison, there were such shock and sort of immediate grief at the murder of rfk, but this you get a sense the crowds are simply a softer tribute. there's not the grief but an opportunity to see the last
member of that generation, i suppose. >> that's exactly right, david. the word was spontaneous for robert kennedy's funeral and that funeral train. people that rode that train told me that when they were on the train, it was unending. every single mile of that journey, there were just people out there trying to express their grief and their shock and their respect for the kennedy family and for in particular bobby kennedy. in this case ted kennedy's death, people knew and they were prepared for it. you think back to ten years ago when he gave the eulogy to john f. kennedy jr.'s funeral and he said we dare to this this john kennedy would live to comb gray hair. ted kennedy lived to grow gray hair and white hair and become the senior statesman, so it's a different mourning we're seeing now. >> can you talk about the relationship between ted kennedy the sort of regular citizens in boston where this motorcade is going to be in just a couple of
minutes. >> absolutely. ted kennedy was in jack kennedy's estimation the most natural politician of the brothers. that's saying a lot. obviously, jack kennedy became president and became an iconic figure in american politics, but ted kennedy learned at the need -- knee of his grandfather. he had an easy equation with the people, regular people, and so did ted kennedy and he felt comfort in the presence. he was more aloof and more detached and removed. ted kennedy was in the thick of it and most comfortable there with the people. >> nbc news contributor neil, thanks so much. your thoughts about some of ha we're hearing right now. >> when you look at the video from '68 and see the people standing out just wanting a glimpse and today we see a
similar scene. obviously, one kennedy being able to live to see gray hair at 77 years old and the others in his 40s. it's a different set of circumstances. one was obviously sudden and a surprise and shocking painful moment. this is a celebration of the life of senator kennedy. you don't want to lose a loved one at any age. we saw him live a ripe life, and we finally got an opportunity to see the first generation of the kennedys as we know them reach at least with him an old age, a wonderful ending eating ice cream a few days ago and singing along with his family. >> so well-said. regardless of the circumstances, people get an opportunity to have their own closure on their memories of ted kennedy by watching it on television or waving at the motorcade as it passes by. >> when you were young as i was, people would bring you in front of tv and say, take a look at this moment. this is something you will remember. you're watching msnbc's special
coverage of the passing of senator edward kennedy. the family motorcade headed towards the jfk presidential library in boston. we'll bring you the averageal here in a moment. a surprise pre. he needs to, you know, write papers and go online. budget was definitely a concern. she was like, "help me." so i'm thinking: new cool thing is the netbook. two pounds, three pounds, 160 gigabyte hard drive. really great battery life. we get the netbook. i said, "bring him back into the store. let him pick out his bag." she introduced him to me. and it was like, "you're the guy who got me the netbook." he says, "this never happens, but i'm totally going to hug you right now." i get hugged all the time. how could you not hug this? back playing in the afternoon. excedrin back and body has two ingredients to block and relieve the pain. doesn't your whole body deserve excein strength relief? excedrin. what ache? a tornado hits, air life denver takes off... their night-vision goggles keeping
and we continue to follow the motorcade that is taking the body of senator ted kennedy and also taking his relatives on a path towards boston that will end up at the jfk library in boston. as you can see, traffic has been stopped on one side. on the other people continue to pay their respects. >> and back with us is michael, the presidential historian for nbc news. michael, a little earlier david asked you a question about what this means for boston, and i think it's an incredible point to make about the absence of a kennedy representing that state and what that means for the people there. >> i think that's right, that it
is like something that is missing from the landscape, but also for ted kennedy i think one thing he was chagrined about the last year was that he did not have more than one relative in high national office, meaning his son patrick is serving in the house from rhode island. i think he would have liked to see a few other members in the senate from the kennedy family when he passed on, and that fits very much in the aspirations of joe kennedy who in the 1930s, that early, he had the idea that he would found a political dynasty in america. there have been a lot of political dynasties, but you never had one man set out deliberately to build one, and that he did, and i think even joe kennedy would have been surprised it would have lasted 62 years and more. >> and, michael, for what we are seeing here, put this in perspective as far as honoring this american icon. you always wonder what is the appropriate way to honor compared to what we have seen. we were watching the people reacting to bobby kennedy as his
body was taken from new york to washington via train. perspectivewise in honoring the great political figures of our time, how does this compare? especially the response of the people standing outside. >> right. well, there's a large group of people that's gathering and getting larger and larger all around here that i'm sure we'll be seeing getting very large by the time the cortege gets here. it's distinct from the way robert kennedy and john kennedy were honored. when ted kennedy announced, a lot of his advisers said do it the same way that jack and bobby did. they declared their candidacies from the caucus room of the u.s. senate. they began their speeches with the same line. ted kennedy wanted to make the point, a, that he was a different person, and, b, that he was really oriented more toward boston, massachusetts, so
he declared his candidacy instead up in boston. it's one of the landmark that is cortege will pass by very soon. >> michael, david is with us as well getting in on this sper tech ti perspective. we were talking earlier about some of the final moments or final days of senator kennedy's life and your familiarity with the family. what does that tell you that he's having singalongs up until his final breath on tuesday. he got up and greeted life i guess as he lived. >> that was the way he dealt with things. i mean, this is not a perfect linear life in which he had every day perfectly dealt with over the course of his 77 years. he was the first to say that especially after the assassinations of his two brothers, difficult first marriage, other problems that occurred in his life, all sorts
of problems, that in a way personally he lost his way. so, you know, that is something that is a part of his life, but the happy end of the story is that by probably the last decade, decade and a half in a way he had taken on the persona i think that he had when he was a kid, when he was a young man, happy, you know, jovial, extroverted. john kennedy used to say when teddy comes into a room, you know you're in for a good time. so when he got this horrible news last may of last year about this terminal illness, he was very much in character. he didn't sort of, you know, go under a rock and just decide to give it up. he decided whatever time i have left, i'm going to make the most of for myself and my family and friends and also, and this is key, i'm going to fight, and this issen i wi an illness peop times die within months of diagnosis. he lasted several months. >> thank you, michael.
we expect the kennedy motorcade to arrive at the jfk presidential library within the hour. as you can see it's the beginning of rush hour in boston. the scene when it passes by the various landmarks and ends up at the jfk library is, of course, going to be dramatic and emotional, especially for the family members. we will bring the coverage to you as it happens. >> and for more news and analysis, be sure to check out our website at t tedkennedy.msnbc.com. you will find rare photos, videos, and a time line of the senator's life and legacy. >> the thing about teddy was, you know, when you think about it, why is it that all these conservative guys who have shared nothing in common with his philosophy, why do they like him? he always, whether you were a friend or his foe, at the end of a debate, because he was never petty, never small, he always made you feel bigger. my doctor told me something i never knew.
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